In my mid twenties, I made a remarkable discovery that changed the way I looked at the direct marketing creative process.
That discovery was the Myers – Briggs Type Indicator or MBTI. That base of knowledge expanded to include DISC --- the four quadrant behavioral model based on the work of William Moulton Marston Ph.D. that examined the behavior of individuals in their environment. DISC addresses behavioral styles and preferences.
What’s more, it is now believed that these differences are not just environmentally learned behaviors. They probably have genetic origins.
So the way people react to how you communicate impacts their receptivity to your ideas. Modifying your communication style, addressing the needs of the four primary personality types, makes a big difference in your persuasive powers. It gives your communications hypnotic power.
When I approach a new client’s office, for example, I look at what he hangs on his wall and puts on his desk. If he has numerous awards on his wall and the office exudes an almost military discipline and organization feel, then I know that he likes evidence, charts, Excel spreadsheets and other analytical tools to make critical decisions. His strength is thoroughness. Nothing gets past him. But his corresponding weakness is “analysis paralysis.” He sometimes cannot get all of the information he wants and will wait instead of making a decision on a timely basis.
His dress style and the type of car he drives give me further clues. He will dress conservatively. His shoes have no tassels. His ties are more subdued. He drives a Volvo or some other solid car avoiding sports cars with bright colors.
Even though he demonstrates this analytical style, most people also possess a back-up personality type that sometimes makes it difficult to clearly determine their dominant personality type in the first meeting or two. And many people have learned how to mask their styles so well that it takes longer to figure them out.
This is one of the four major personality types. The way I present my findings and recommendations and how I dress vary depending on a given client’s preferred style.
Another personanlity type is the dominant driver. The weakness of Driver dominant personality types is that they appear cold to most people. They need to develop the human side of their personality. They must not only focus on the business goals, but people’s feelings as well to improve their effectiveness. They are most impressed by results.
These driver personality types often drive a Mercedes or a Lexus sedan or other power car instead of a Volvo. They have no patience for what they consider as unnecessary delays. They are fast paced and are masters of efficiency. To them, wasting time is the greatest offence. They can accomplish more than most if they can learn to moderate their behavior with the other personality types.
But you must communicate with all personality types in your advertising.
If your brand is state-of-the-art and leads the latest trends, then you naturally appeal to the expressive personality types. They dress with more color. They are creative and fast paced. They have an attention span of less than one minute. They despise details.
In this case, communicate based on your brand image offering options for people who might want more evidence of quality such as demanded by the analytics. Offer product guarantees and other assurances of quality.
To appeal to relaters, talk about how their friends will enjoy being around them if they buy your trendy product. Above all, relaters want to be liked rather than just respected.
We could talk for pages about how you should look, act and communicate based on your brand personality to communicate to all personality types.
Remain who you are and true to your brand. But pay attention to the needs of all personality types for maximum market penetration and persuasive power.
Do you have a tendency to communicate the way you look at a given product or service without thinking about how others might see it through their own view of the world? If so, then how can you change the emphasis, evidence of product benefits or feel of your product to become more persuasive to a larger number of people?
I think that if we learn about and address these varied personality needs in our creative work, then we will develop what I call “communicating with hypnotic power.”